The Center for Health, Environment & Justice (CHEJ) just released an interactive tool that is meant to increase awareness of the key sources of polyvinyl chloride (a.k.a. PVC or vinyl) in our schools.
"PVC is the most toxic plastic for our health and environment. No other plastic contains or releases as many dangerous chemicals. Unfortunately the poison plastic is widespread in schools across the nation."
Many schools around the country are literally made out of PVC or vinyl, an emerging toxic plastic of concern. This volatile chemical is permeating our schools, from vinyl flooring, to computers, to vinyl backpacks and other school supplies.
How Is This Really Going To Impact My Children?
In recent years, a number of studies have found a relationship between the phthalates released by PVC building supplies and asthma in children and adults. With over 7 million children suffering from asthma which, incidentally, is the leading cause of school absenteeism, our vinyl schools endanger students' health.
Dioxin, lead and mercury are all chemicals released by the PVC lifecycle that have been linked to learning and developmental disabilities in young children. With one in six children suffering from learning disabilities, schools must be kept free of these toxins so that children can learn.
Also, two years ago Congress passed legislation banning phthalates in children's toys. While phthalates have been banned from PVC toys, they're still widespread in PVC products like flooring used in schools.
Oh No -- What Can I Do To Help?!
Thankfully, there is hope as it's easy to find alternatives to PVC. A few simple changes will protect students' health, and ability to learn. At This Vinyl School - http://www.chej.org/thisvinylschool , you can click through a virtual animated school to identify where this dangerous plastic is hiding and find healthier products.